The First Crop of Corn in Scioto County
“That crop of corn must have been a welcome harvest to those few isolated families, who were cut off from all intercourse with the outside world, and had no other provisions but such as the woods afforded and their trusty rifles procured for them. Mr. Ward went up the creek and located on Ward’s Run, a tributary of the Little Scioto. It was not called Ward’s Run until he went there. It was the custom of that day, where a creek had no name, to give it the name of the first man who went to live on it. Mr. Ward lived there long enough to give his name to the creek, but, unfortunately, got drowned, and was the first man buried in Scioto county. They buried him in the graveyard where the bridge crosses the creek, near the mouth, and it was consequently, the first graveyard in our county. We hear no more of Mr. Ward’s family since that time.”1
The complete name of Mr. Ward has not yet been identified as of this writing. Per Chad Fannin it has been suggested that William Ward is the Mr. Ward referenced in this post and is supported by an abstract from a speech read before the Pioneer Association of Scioto County by local historian James Keyes.
The above map illustrates the current course of Ward’s Run; while this course may have varied over time other locations that coincide with the above article place the possible burial location of Mr. Ward at Slocum Cemetery. This cemetery is adjacent to both a bridge that navigates an older route of travel and Ward’s Run. The burials at Slocum date to at least 1825 with the possibility that markers that have been destroyed, are illegible, or are unmarked fieldstones would not contribute to determining the earliest burial.
Another likely location of Mr. Ward’s first but not final place of rest is the now-defunct Price Cemetery. It was located at the mouth of the Little Scioto River and adjacent to the Gallia Street bridge. This cemetery was removed during the construction of the railroad bridge. Remains therein were either removed by family members or removed to the Old Wheelersburg Cemetery.
It is also possible that Mr. Ward’s final resting place has not yet been recorded or remains unmarked.